Creating a Healthy Eating Environment

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Creating a Healthy Eating Environment

Why create a healthy eating environment? Our daily food and beverage choices are largely impacted by what we surround ourselves with, what is visible and easily accessible to us. If healthy foods are more visible and accessible than unhealthy options, we are more likely to choose the healthy options and vice versa. Although we can’t control our environment 100 percent, there are steps we can take to create a healthier eating environment and achieve our health goals. Implement the tips below.

  1. Have healthy foods available at home. Keep unhealthy foods out of the house.
    • Go through your kitchen fridge, freezer, pantry, cabinets, and counters and get rid of unhealthy food items that aren’t helping you meet your weight and health goals.
    • Go grocery shopping and stock your kitchen with healthy items from each food group.
    • Use this guide to help!
    • Discuss the changes with family members. If family members want unhealthy foods you are not wanting, have a separate cabinet or drawer for them.
  2. Have a healthy snack available when you are on the go. Avoid stopping at fast food or a gas station for a snack.
    • Get in habit of throwing one healthy snack in your bag before going out the door.
    • Have a healthy snack basket near the door.
    • Have individual healthy snacks available in your car.
    • Use this guide for snack ideas!
  3. Create a healthy environment at work.
    • Pack a healthy lunch instead of relying on eating out or carry-ins.
    • On breaks, stay out of the break room as much as possible where tempting foods may be available, and take a walk instead.
    • Remove unhealthy snacks from your drawers.
    • Have one to two healthy snacks available at your work area or in fridge.
  4. Eat out less. Avoid eating out at restaurants that you are tempted to get an unhealthy option and save them for special occasions.
    • Make a goal (with family, friends, or co-workers) for eating out 1 time per week.
    • Plan to go to restaurants where you choose healthier options.
    • Make large batches of healthy meals so you can utilize leftovers for meals throughout the week.
    • Keep convenient healthy foods stocked up at home so you can quickly throw together a nutritious meal.
  5. Have healthy beverages within reach.
    • Avoid stopping by fast food or a gas station to pick up a large high calorie beverage.
    • Get a fun water bottle, coffee, or tea mug.
    • Have water, black coffee, unsweetened tea, or fruit infused water available.
  6. Tell people around you about your healthy eating environment goals so that they can help support you.
    • Family, friends, co-workers, etc.